Breaking:Boris Johnson to face court over alleged EU referendum misconduct

Boris Johnson is to be summonsed to court to face accusations of misconduct in a public office, over claims he made that the UK sent the EU £350m a week. 

It relates to comments the former Mayor of London made while campaigning for the UK to leave the EU before the 2016 referendum.

Marcus Ball has now brought a private prosecution against the former foreign secretary, saying he misled the public during the campaign and again at the 2017 general election.

“Democracy demands responsible and honest leadership from those in public office,” Mr Ball said previously.

“The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest.

It was, we say, criminal.”

He alleges Mr Johnson misrepresented the amount of money Britain sends the EU by using the figure £350m a week.

The UK has never sent, given or provided £350 million a week to Europe – that statement is simply not ambiguous,” Mr Ball said.

WORCESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Boris Johnson MParrives in Stafford to board the Vote Leave, Brexit Battle Bus on May 17, 20016 in Stafford, England. Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave campaign are touring the UK in their Brexit Battle Bus. The campaign is hoping to persuade voters to back leaving the European Union in the Referendum on the 23rd June 2016.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Image:MrJohnson campaigned with a bus which had the comments on the side

He has managed to raise more than £200,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign.

The private prosecutor denies he is trying to obstruct Brexit.

Mr Johnson, represented by his lawyer Adrian Darbishire in court last week, has denied any wrongdoing.

“I should make it clear that because of the interest in this case that it is absolutely denied by Mr Johnson that he acted in an improper or dishonest manner at any time,” Mr Darbishire said.

Lawyers lodged an application at Westminster Magistrates Court to summons Mr Johnson as part of a private prosecution.

Marcus Ball outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he has brought a case against Boris Johnson for intentionally misleading the public during the referendum.
Image:Marcus Ball has crowdfunded to support the private prosecution

In a judgement given today, District Judge Margot Coleman ruled: “The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact.

“Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted. The charges are indictable only.

“This means the proposed defendant will be required to attend this court for a preliminary hearing, and the case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial. The charges can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.”

Mr Johnson, the MP for Uxbridge, is the front runner in the Conservative leadership campaign triggered by Theresa May’s announcement that she would step down as leader of the party on 7 June.


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